Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I've been on a ridiculously long blogging hiatus, but I'm back and so anxious to talk about all we've been up to this past year!

To start off, I have a fantastic new recipe for Quinoa Cakes to share.  My husband has been on a bit of a health kick lately and in order to show my support, I've been buying the strange and unfamiliar items he's been adding to my grocery lists each week.  I've also been searching for ways for both of us to enjoy them, since Tom could subsist on nuts & seeds and my idea of health food is adding broccoli to my bacon encrusted mac n' cheese.

These Quinoa Cakes fit the bill for all of us (even our 7 year old) - healthy, protein packed quinoa disguised as a crispy, caramelized, flavorful snack.  I love the versatility of this recipe, so toss in your favorite veggies, herbs or spices.

I've also included a recipe for a creamy Dijon dipping sauce that works perfectly with the cakes.


Quinoa Cakes and Dijon Aioli

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (I cook mine in chicken stock for extra flavor)
4 large eggs
1 large shallot, finely chopped (you can also use a grater)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped  (you can also use a grater)
Big handful of chopped chives, scallions and parsley
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan, or cheese of your choice
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (both traditional and Panko work great)
Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and shape into patties.

Heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add the patties and cook until bottoms are very brown, about 5 minutes.  Flip and cook on the second side until deeply golden as well.  Drain on paper towels.

You can make all of the patties or you can store the leftover  mixture in the refrigerator for a few days and make patties as you want them.  The cooked patties heat up very well on a lightly oiled skillet.

You can serve these alone with a squeeze of lemon and aioli dipping sauce, over a salad of baby greens or on a whole grain bun, like a burger.  I ate a couple for breakfast this morning!

FYI - Cooking quinoa is very much like cooking rice.  I use a 2 to 1 ratio of liquid to quinoa.  Bring liquid to a boil, add quinoa, bring back to boil, cover, lower heat to simmer and cook until liquid is absorbed.

Using a combination of stock and white wine as the liquid adds a ton of flavor to the finished dish.
I also like to add a tablespoon of butter and some salt before adding the quinoa, but you can leave that out.

Dijon Aioli

 1/4 cup mayonnaise (Greek yogurt also works very well)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon capers

Mix all ingredients together and serve with quinoa cakes.